HNS North California Chapter

Meeting at Golden Gate Branch Library, Oakland on 13th April, 1 pm.

You’re invited to the Spring Meeting of HNS – Northern California!

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 1-4pm, Golden Gate Branch Library, 5606 San Pablo Ave, Oakland

Contact: Ana Brazil



***Fix your Historical Novel by Writing it as a Screenplay***

Using only words, novelists must create visual setting, action, emotions, and characterization, while screenwriters intentionally under-write these elements to let location scouts, actors and directors work their magic. Some problems in novel drafts can be identified and fixed by approaching the work as a screenplay. Whether or not you go so far as to write in screenplay format using only slug lines, narrative and dialogue, chances are good that your novel could benefit if given a screenplay story structure, screenplay pacing, leaner dialogue, and descriptions that let readers’ imaginations do more of the work rather than overreliance on adjectives.

Two HNS members who have successfully written novels as well as movies will present screenwriting methods that can improve novels. Overheads and handouts will illustrate screenplay structure, and why scenes from some novels were improved when adapted in screenplays (including the historical spoof, Princess Bride). If you try these techniques at home, worst case, you’ll improve your novel; best case, you’ll sell a script to Hollywood!

Mark Wiederanders’ screenplay about Shakespeare’s daughter, Taming Judith was a finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Nicholl Fellowship competition, and optioned several times to production companies. A director was attached, the film cast, and the movie was “almost” made – several times. His first novel, Stevenson’s Treasure (Fireship Press), reached the finals of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. He taught college psychology, screenwriting, did government research on violence, and is now writing Taming Judith as a novel.

Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels based on the lives of real women: The Darling Strumpet, The September Queen, and Venus in Winter. She’s now working on a Gothic novel set in Scotland. She has a BA in Dramatic Arts from UC Berkeley, a certificate from the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, and founded the Pasadena Shakespeare Company. She studied screenwriting with John Truby’s Writer’s Studio and Writers’ Boot Camp, wrote two feature-length screenplays, and a spec script for Magnum PI. She is a writing coach, editor, and with extensive theatre background coaches authors on giving public readings.


Melanie Spiller will host our very first Synopsis Symposium–get your synopsis examined by the membership!

Contact: Ana Brazil